Chinese leaders lay flowers in Belfast to mark 25 year anniversary of Tiananmen massacre
This morning, Wednesday 4 June, Chinese community leaders will gather in Belfast to lay flowers to remember those killed in China’s notorious crackdown in Tiananmen Square 25 years ago today.
Patrick Yu, a Chinese pro-democracy activist from 1989 (and now head of a local ethnic minorities NGO), and Eileen Chan-Hu, former CEO of Chinese Welfare Association NI, will join Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International NI Programme Director, to lay roses at Belfast’s Beacon of Hope sculpture - reminiscent of the statue Goddess of Democracy, which was erected by students in Tiananmen Square in 1989 - in an act of remembrance for those who died.
Rose petals will then be cast into the River Lagan from Queen's Bridge. They will be joined by Chinese and Northern Irish children and local Amnesty activists.
Commemorating the crackdown in China is illegal and at least 66 people have now been detained by the Chinese authorities in connection to the Tiananmen anniversary.
Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International’s NI Programme Director
“In Belfast and in other cities around the world, people are commemorating the massacre in Tiananmen Square of 25 years ago. Ironically, the one place it cannot be marked publicly without fear of arrest is in China itself.
“The Chinese authorities appear willing to stop at nothing in their attempts to prevent people from marking the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown.
“But the authorities’ suffocating grip on freedom of expression will not stop people in China and around the world from remembering the victims of 4 June 1989. That is why are are gathering today in the heart of Belfast beside the Beacon of Hope sculpture, so reminiscent of the statue Goddess of Democracy, which the students erected in Tiananmen Square in 1989.”